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Eastern Academy of Management 2019

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Rethinking Change and Innovation: The Institutional Shift in Higher Education

This paper uses institutional analysis to examine the shift occurring in higher education.. We use interview data as well as historical analysis to identify a shift in the dominant institutional logics of higher education and explain how that shift becomes a threat or opportunity for existing colleges and universities in the United States. By shifting the level of analysis from meso-level, how competing colleges and universities innovate in order to gain competitive advantages, to macro-level, how the institutional context influences that innovation and competition, we can provide new insights into the changes that are occurring within higher education. Leaders within higher education pay significant attention to macro-level forces such as changing demography and technology but often do not frame it within and an institutional context governed by dominant institutional logics. This paper provides a framework and language to better understand and put into context the broader changes within the industry.

Michael Lewis
Assumption College
United States


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